The origin and character of the State

One finds an astonishing degree of agreement among scholars that the state and violence are intimately related.

Gerard Casey Colour.jpg

…One finds an astonishing degree of agreement among scholars that the state and violence are intimately related. If you were to ask David Hume how the state originated he would say that ‘Almost all the governments which exist at present, or of which there remains any record in story, have been founded originally in usurpation or conquest or both, without any pretense of a fair consent or voluntary subjection of the people.’

Continuar leyendo «The origin and character of the State»

Racial Terminology and Confusion

WALTER WILLIAMS: The true plight of black Americans (column) | Free |

…without a doubt, part of the confusion in understanding racial issues lies in the imprecise and ambiguous language used by scholars and laymen alike in discussing race. Words can, and usually do, have more than one meaning, and therefore can be used ambiguously. In analytical usage, not only is it necessary to separate the connotative from the literal content of words, but precise and operationally useful distinctions and definitions also must be made.

Continuar leyendo «Racial Terminology and Confusion»

The myth of the barter


Graeber recently passed away and I allow myself to share with you one of his most popular (and controversial) passages.

While he found a gold mine debunking some historical inaccuracies of «the myth of the barter» as usually presented by armchair economists, ironically he still managed to get the underlying economic principle that eventually explained the (Mengerian) origin of money (very) very wrong. Right facts, wrong interpretation. 

May he rest in peace.

Continuar leyendo «The myth of the barter»

What is Intelligence? Do You Know It When You See It?

It may seem odd, but let’s start our discussion of intelligence with the value of pi, the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. As you know, the value of pi is always the same: 3.14 … carried out to an infinite, non-repeating sequence of decimals. For our purpose here, it’s just a very long string of numbers in seemingly random order that is always the same. This string of numbers has been used as a simple test of memory. Some people can memorize a longer string of the pi sequence than others. And, a few people can memorize a very long string…

Continuar leyendo «What is Intelligence? Do You Know It When You See It?»

Everything Is Obvious

Duncan Watts.jpgEvery day in New York City five million people ride the sub­ways. Starting from their homes throughout the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, they pour themselves in through hundreds of stations, pack themselves into thousands of cars that barrel though the dark labyrinth of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s tunnel system, and then once again flood the platforms and stairwells—a subterranean river of humanity urgently seeking the nearest exit and the open air beyond. As anyone who has ever par­ticipated in this daily ritual can attest, the New York subway system is something between a miracle and nightmare, a Rube Goldberg contraption of machines, concrete, and people that in spite of innumerable breakdowns, inexplicable delays, and indecipherable public announcements, more or less gets ev­eryone where they’re going, but not without exacting a cer­tain amount of wear and tear on their psyche. Rush hour in particular verges on a citywide mosh pit— of tired workers, frazzled mothers, and shouting, shoving teenagers, all scrab­bling over finite increments of space, time, and oxygen. It’s not the kind of place you go in search of the milk of human kindness. It’s not the kind of place where you’d expect a per­fectly healthy, physically able young man to walk up to you and ask you for your seat.

Continuar leyendo «Everything Is Obvious»